Given its historical appeal, natural beauty, and location in a relatively politically stable country, it's not surprising that Tanzania's coastline has emerged as one of Africa's tourism hotspots. The region "has so much potential" but will face numerous bumps in the road on its journey to becoming a sustainable destination—things like political corruption, insufficient infrastructure, and poor waste management.
Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:
"A lot of potential. One of the major issues is road access. The coast offers some unique cultural heritage sites such as Bagamoyo and Kilwa and also beautiful (and protected) natural landscapes. The question is what will happen to the region once access has become easier. Foreigners are already envisioning big developments."
"Environmental and ecological quality is good as urban development is limited, but marine litter is increasing. Cultural integrity is not capitalized on."
"Still mostly unspoiled. Little development as yet, but demand by government to expand beyond safari tourism. Negative impacts if proper planning is not implemented before the rush starts."
"Standards such as sewage management are still far from the norm, and tourism disrupts the cultural integrity of many villages. A lot of money appears to disappear in a few people's pockets with no explanation of where all the tourism revenue ends up."
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
Browse all the submissions and check back for the winning images.